PHOENIX - This holiday season, people in Arizona are working to help people in Kentucky, after dozens were killed and many more were left without homes as a result of a series of tornados that tore through the area.
The series of tornados tore through several states, but Kentucky was the worst-hit by far, coming at a time of year when cold weather normally limits tornadoes. Four twisters hit the state in total, including one with an extraordinarily long path of about 200 miles, officials said.
Red Cross volunteers spending the holidays helping those impacted
In the aftermath of the tornados, Red Cross volunteers are helping people in the area, as cleanup and recovery efforts continue.
Volunteers say they have never seen anything like it.
"It's almost like a bomb went off in these communities we drive through," said American Red Cross Disaster Program Manager Laura King. "Cars are turned like they they've been through a blender, upside down into trees."
"Buildings are smashed," said volunteer Sandra Rode. 'There's just foundations left, and the building is across the street."
Volunteers say people living in the area are still dealing with the devastation and loss.
"We had a man stop by the other day when we were out for dinner, and he said 'I really had to swallow my pride. I've never asked for assistance before, but I've been sleeping in my truck for three nights, and it's getting cold,'" said Rode.
Arizonans among those assisting relief efforts
Several Red Cross officials from Phoenix are in Bowling Green to assist those impacted, in any way they can.
"Provide assistance with sheltering, feeding, emotional support, as well as spiritual care, and caseworkers that are really helping the family get back on their feet again," said King.
Red Cross workers say it is worth it to know they are making a difference, despite difficulties with being away from their families, as well as dealing with the devastation during the holiday season.
"As we always say, help can't wait," said King. "Yes, our family -- we are away and we miss them, but we know they are supporting us from home, and they have a warm bed to go to. They have roof, a Christmas tree with presents, and everyone that we're seeing here does not have that."
American Red Cross
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